doing a thesis project based on hort therapy,please give some fee

chicoart99April 4, 2008

Hello everyone,

I am student at the University of Illinois and I am majoring in industrial design. Everysummer I help out with landscaping and for my design thesis I wanted to do something dealing with horticulture. I decided to try and do something with horticulture therapy and base it on that.

I've been trying to do some research to see what kind of products are out there.And i've been asking a few people in wheelchairs who like to garden. I wish there were an accessible garden around but there isn't :( .

Well , for my thesis I wanted to design a type of gardening table/raised bed table that would be easily assembled and put togehter by a person in a wheelchair. The people who i talked to said that they like raised beds but the problem is that they have to have someone come and build it for them. So i wanted to design a table/raised bed that would be very lightweight pretty much preassembled and so that it folded up easily so that they could buy it themselves and do it themselves. I have not found anything out there like that.

just wanted to know if you guys thought it was a good idea or if you guys know if similar things, i can explain more if I wasnt clear enought

thank you !

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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Just my opinion...

It would be wonderful if something like that existed, but it would be difficult to imagine: if it were lightweight and easy to assemble, how sturdy could it be? Soak some one-cubic-foot bags of potting soil and lift them. They're awfully heavy. Adding quality nutrients via compost would add to the weight. I just don't see how it could be done.

But if you could do it, I would hope that nursing homes would be the first ones in line to buy them. That is usually an agonizingly boring existence.

OTOH, don't let me stop you. My first boss was a veterinarian. He was amazed when someone told him that cats bitten by rattlesnakes couldn't be saved. He said if he had know that before, he probably wouldn't have saved them.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 2:00AM
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stacy_nm

Hi--I hope this response doesn't come too late and that you're still checking this forum. I have a garden from CelluGro that might be what you're looking for. It's 2'x4' with a sturdy (and reasonably attractive) plastic exterior. Inside it has a set of nylon (I think) strips that divide the garden into cells. Mine is sitting on a frame that my dad built, but it can also be purchased with a wheelchair accessible stand.

I've had the garden for almost a year now and can grow enough produce for at least one healthy-sized serving of veggies a day. I have CFS and fibromyalgia, so I'm not really looking for wheelchair-type accessibility--it's more about minimizing the energy it takes to do vegetable gardening. I have to say, it's pretty amazing. Watering and "digging" are a breeze, there's no weeding, and I don't have to kneel, bend down, or anything--I've been *super* impressed with how much I can grow with minimal effort (maybe 10 minutes a day max). While I use it for veggies, it would also work for flowers or whatever, though maybe not perennials for more than a couple of years.

The biggest downside is the price, which is pretty steep. I've been assured that they last for years, though. Mine ended up falling about 2' from the temporary jerry-rigged frame I was using before my dad came to the rescue (bless you, Dad!), and it didn't suffer any damage at all, so they really are pretty strong.

CelluGro makes other size gardens, too--4'x4' or larger. Those have a soft vinyl exterior which is less attractive but pretty lightweight, though anything over 4x4 wouldn't be very practical for a stand, I wouldn't think, just from the sheer weight of the soil and water. No assembly is required, except to clamp the nylon cells to the frame prior to filling the garden with soil. As I understand it, these gardens were created with input by Hank Bruce, who is pretty big in the horticultural therapy field (and probably others, but Hank's the one I know about).

I'm so sorry if I sound like I'm making a sales pitch! I just really love this garden. I would *never* be growing peas, chard, 4 other types of greens, chives, carrots, beets, radishes, onions, and garlic (not to mention eggplant, tomatilloes, beans, etc., which are just waiting for all the spring things to wind down) without something like this to make it easy--all I would do is maybe a tomato or two in pots.

Hope that gives you a useful direction to look in, at any rate.

Here is a link that might be useful: CelluGro gardens

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 2:36PM
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